Artist Spotlight: Zanali Razvi, The Show Must Go On!

Joseph Tucci, Managing Editor

Theater at Pace’s Pleasantville campus has never been relevant, until last week when freshman applied psychology major Zanali Razvi insisted on changing that. Pace Drama Alliance (PDA) debuted its rendition of Frank Wedekind’s Spring Awakening which was directed by Razvi.

The play covered controversial topics significant to today’s world such as maturity, sexuality, rape, and abortion. Razvi, a freshman applied psychology major, has been one of the major driving forces behind Pace’s new artistic turn as he insured that the show went on by any means necessary.

Razvi has long loved film and theater. His original inspiration came from James Cameron’s Titanic which he watched as a kid.

“I watched Titanic for the first time, and I absolutely fell in love with any and everything that had to do with the film Titanic, even the history behind it,” Razvi said. “Then I just started watching all these movies as a kid, and I was like, I want to do that.”

Since childhood Razvi has gone on to try his hand at theater as he has starred in two of Floral Park Memorial High School’s plays, Six Characters in Search of an Author and Thirteen Past Midnight. He also has had experience filming a one-scene, independent film when he was 12 and directing a play for seventh graders during his senior year of high school.

Although he originally planned to attend the city campus because of the theater minor they offered in the past, PDA has given Razvi new opportunities to express his artistic vision. Pace has also given him the opportunity to work with like-minded individuals who share the same love of theater that he does.

“The cast over here, I have to say, are amazing. My friends in high school could act, but they didn’t take it as serious as people over here and it’s great to see because we don’t have a drama major or anything dramatic on this campus,” said Razvi, who admitted that some cast members were inexperienced. “It was really exciting to work with them, because they had the same passion as me.”

The play experienced many difficulties, including financial trouble, but Razvi invested some of his own money, with no financial return. Because of issue of some of cast members dropping out, he also had to join his follow cast members on stage as not one, but four different characters.

“We were already starting to rehearse, so I stepped in because it needed to be done,” said Razvi, who only had four weeks to produce the play. “I’ve never played four characters before, so it was quite the challenge to have the variations between each character. Hopefully, it sold the illusion of four different characters.”

Even with the threat of organic chemistry and calculus taking up most of his time next semester, Razvi wants to continue to work with PDA. He has aspirations of the club eventually becoming just as prominent the city campus’ drama department.

“I found a nice place in Pleasantville, so it’s good. Hopefully [PDA] will rival with the city campus; I will try my best to make that happen,” Razvi said.